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Carlson caps career with a second-place finish at state

     United North Central’s Taylor Carlson reached the championship match, teammate Dylan Huttunen won two matches and Park Rapids’ Justin Dravis won one match at the state Class A wrestling tournament.

     Carlson, who was rated No. 3 at 220 pounds, pinned Norwood-Young America’s Steeven Smith in 5:17 and edged Prairie Valley’s Logan Nibbe 1-0 during Friday’s opening rounds in the 285-pound division at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul to advance to Saturday’s finals.

     After topping Dover-Eyota’s Tanner Welsh 2-1 in Saturday’s semifinals, Carlson was denied a state title with a 9-5 loss to Wabasso/Red Rock Central’s Alex Schroepfer in the finals.

     Schroepfer was the No. 1-ranked wrestler at 285 and ended the season with a 41-0 record. Carlson closed out his senior season with a 34-3 mark.

     Huttunen opened Friday’s state tournament with a 5-2 decision over Chatfield’s Cody Bly, who was rated No. 5 at 170 pounds. Huttunen was thrown into the wrestlebacks with an 8-4 loss to Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena’s Daven Staples in the quarterfinals.

     During Saturday’s wrestlebacks, Huttunen stayed alive with a 4-1 decision over Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale’s Nick Bennett before being eliminated with an 11-3 loss to Trinity School’s Sam Swanson. Huttunen closed out his senior season with a 33-10 record. Jackson County Central’s Keegan Moore, who entered as the No. 1-ranked wrestler at this weight, capped off a 48-0 season by pinning Minnewaska Area’s Ryan Stottler in 5:16 in the title match.

     Dravis made his state debut by defeating No. 7-ranked Noah Greenfield of Maple River 3-2 before dropping an 8-6 overtime decision to Wadena-Deer Creek’s Devin Barthel in the quarterfinals.

     During Saturday’s wrestlebacks, Dravis was eliminated with a 3-2 loss to Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg’s Nicholas Meyer. Dravis capped off his freshman season with a 31-11 record. Top-ranked Larry Bomstad of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City capped off a 49-0 season by pinning No. 6 Kolton Eischens of Pierz in 2:28 in the championship match.

     United North Central’s Tristan Palmer lost his first match to No. 4 Vince Johnson of Windom 8-3 and was eliminated with a 14-4 loss to No. 6 Jake Denn of Madelia in the wrestlebacks at 195. Palmer capped off his senior season with a 27-7 record. Top-ranked Nathan Rose of Sibley East defeated Johnson 11-3 in the championship match to cap off a 45-1 season.